Grand Junction community mourns after Club Q shooting

Rainbow pride flag | Photo Date: 2008
Rainbow pride flag | Photo Date: 2008(Source: Ludovic Bertron / CC BY 2.0 via MGN)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 11:07 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 11:15 AM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Colorado Springs is approximately five hours away from the Western Slope, but community members in Grand Junction are mourning in the wake of that horrific shooting.

The President of Colorado West Pride, Heidi Hess, shared that it’s a heavy day - November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Heidi Hess says that the mass shooting strikes at the heart of the LGBTQ+ community because gay clubs are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance, not hate.

“I would love to say that this tragedy will impact change. I don’t know that I have that faith anymore,” said Hess. “What I can say is, is that the community, One Colorado, Colorado West Pride, we see the community and we are going to continue to work tirelessly to make Colorado a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Hess shared that the tragedy makes the LGBTQ community feel unsafe in a world that is already feeling unsafe.

PBS reports that at least 32 transgender people were killed in 2022 and now they will be remembering those who lost their lives just days ago in the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

The LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair released a statement expressing devastation for the lives lost and the sense of safety that is shattering due to the act of violence which impacts the entire LGBTQ+ community.

“On behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, we offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families, and our sorrow for the tragedy that has unfolded here. We will work closely with District Attorney Michael Allen, with local law enforcement, Mayor Suthers, and the Colorado Springs community to ensure the person who did this is brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.

Yesterday, a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of transgender people and those who have lost their lives at the nightclub took place in Grand Junction.